The 147th Street Metra station slated for a $13 million renovation beginning in spring 2022
The overhaul marks the station's first in 30 years, Metra officials say.
This time next summer, commuters will be met with improved lighting, parking options, and an elevator for people with disabilities at one of the city’s two Metra stations.
Construction will begin this spring on the 147th Street/Sibley Boulevard Metra train station and marks the first major renovation at the station since 1989, according to Metra leadership.
“This is an exciting time for our customers as the funds provided through the state’s Rebuild Illinois program are put to use to improve and upgrade our system,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “The 147th Street project is just one of several station projects we have planned for the Metra Electric Line that will provide My Metra riders with modern facilities and address accessibility needs.”
A $13 million price tag, the 15-month project will be fully funded under the state’s $45 billion Rebuild Illinois Program, Governor Pritzker’s capital funding plan focused on improving roads, bridges, highways and creating nearly 540,000 jobs across Illinois.
After decades of wear and tear, the station is severely worn. The paint of the graffiti-decorated viaduct that connects to the station’s parking lot is chipping, and existing passenger shelters are rusting. Some commuters have complained that dim lighting becomes a safety hazard during late trips from work.
Metra intends to install new lighting on the platform and under the sidewalk east of the tracks. T he existing concrete will be replaced with a more composite, durable material, shelters will be replaced, and Metra will add a brand new canopy over most of the platform.
And the gravel of the existing parking area will be renovated to accommodate pick-up and drop-off area with bicycle parking.
While there is no concrete schedule set yet for construction, Metra will be launching an information campaign in Harvey with additional details about the project and possible closures prior to start, said Meg Riley, a Metra spokesperson.
"The City is delighted to partner with Metra on an important investment in our transportation infrastructure,” said Mayor Christopher J. Clark in a statement.
“This project will enable more of our residents to safely and comfortably get to their jobs and their destinations. Furthermore, this project, in combination for longer range projects such as the new downtown Harvey Transportation Center, will jump start our efforts to 'Build a Better Harvey' for all.”
Elgin-based contractor IHC Construction Companies LLC will spearhead the project and has committed to subtracting 25% of work with women and minority-owned businesses, according to a press release.
Other Metra projects in the Chicago area include a new station in the Edgewater neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side and another in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the city's South Side. The agency is also purchasing new rail cars and rehabbing existing ones.
There has been more momentum around transit-oriented development and access in Harvey and the Southland over the past year.
Last January, Cook County officials slashed fares along the Metra Electric and other lines through south Cook County and north Will County as part of a 3-year pilot program called Fair Transit South Cook. A study found that there are south Cook residents who spend over 50% of their income on transportation.
The Regional Transit Authority has launched several public comment sessions in Harvey with aims to revitalize the 154th and 155th Street corridors, improve streets, and create public spaces that increase foot traffic in downtown Harvey and spur economic growth in the city’s long-neglected core.
And more states and local governments are expected to roll out ambitious plans to revitalize transit systems thanks to funding from last year’s passage of the $65 billion federal bipartisan infrastructure bill.
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Officials touted the rehabilitation as part of a collaborative effort that would improve public transportation access for south suburban commuters and make Harvey more economically competitive.
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